Adopting a composable architecture can lead forward-thinking businesses into the future and generate new opportunities for their business. Yet moving to a composable approach isn’t always straightforward, and there are many pitfalls to sidestep along the way.
Content federation makes transitioning to a composable architecture easier and provides the solid foundation needed when building a composable stack.
#The pitfalls of composability
Composability refers to a software design approach that enables the arrangement, rearrangement, and removal of individual components using a no-code platform. This facilitates business agility by replacing cumbersome legacy applications and data silos with modular and interchangeable building blocks.
Enterprises can use composable architecture to create their technology stacks from best-of-breed solutions. By adopting composable architecture and technologies, companies can pivot and adapt to take advantage of new business opportunities, achieve faster time to market, scale without being locked into a single vendor, and achieve numerous other benefits.
However, while many businesses want to embrace composability and its benefits, they must overcome some pitfalls.
1. Too many content and data assets are contained in multiple legacy systems
Organizations that have long relied on legacy systems to manage their marketing requirements may struggle to embrace composability because of the volume of content and data assets involved.
Yes, they can implement a headless CMS to begin publishing content to multiple channels or a new eCommerce system to start embracing headless commerce. However, they might still have content stored in two other CMSs, a customer data platform, and other tools, which can’t be replaced just yet.
2. The costs associated with migrating everything
Composability opens the possibility of modernizing the entire technology stack with best-of-breed solutions. However, migrating to new platforms means purchasing new licenses and service level agreements (SLAs) for the latest software while simultaneously paying for the old ones for a few months longer. Plus, hiring agencies or third-party consultants to assist with the migration process.
3. Tool fragmentation
Another pitfall of composability is the consequent tool fragmentation. Marketers and developers may have to toggle between different systems to find the information they need, which can decrease productivity and delay campaigns.
4. Lack of knowledgeable staff and additional resources
Organizations moving from traditional content management systems and eCommerce platforms might find difficulty in embracing software built on headless architecture. For engineering and content teams in particular, the prospect of having to deal with the learning curve, training costs, and hiring requirements can make adopting a composable approach complex.
5. Collaboration and communication issues
When businesses break up their monolithic suites into smaller microservices-based tools to embrace composability, they must adjust how they work and collaborate internally, with outside partners, and with customers. While composability can solve the issue of silos in the long run, in the initial stages, some communication challenges might appear.
These challenges and potential pitfalls slow down and often discourage companies from building composable businesses; however, through content federation, they can solve them and realize the full benefits of composability.
#What is content federation?
Content federation gives businesses the ability to pull data together from multiple sources and backends via API into a single repository. This can be done without migrating the content or having multiple versions.
Content federation provides access to up-to-date data across multiple systems. That data is then aggregated via a single API that serves as the source of truth and delivers the data to one or more frontends. Changes made to external data sources are updated and reflected in other systems. As a result, data integrity can be preserved and the most current information is always available.
Federated content platform vs headless CMS
Content management is elevated to the next level through content federation by going beyond what the headless CMS offers. The headless CMS is a critical component of any composable software stack and solves the initial challenges of traditional content management, by giving businesses the ability to deliver content to multiple digital touchpoints. It also enables other tools to be integrated via APIs.
However, as businesses seek to embrace composability, the influx of tools that need to be integrated, disparate data sources, and other challenges of composability has meant that the headless CMS alone isn’t sufficient.
On the other hand, a federated content platform like Hygraph uses content federation to unify the backend as well, making API integrations less complex and synchronizing data from multiple sources, which can help businesses avoid the pitfalls of composability.
#How content federation solves the challenges of composable architecture
Content federation via a federated content platform enables organizations who want to benefit from composability to solve the challenges of adopting composable architecture.
Unifies access to all your services
Instead of toggling between multiple legacy systems or disparate tools to find a specific content asset or data source, content federation helps you access all your data sources via a single API. This allows you to access all your services via a single endpoint while maintaining the data in sync thanks to Hygraph’s unique approach of accessing the information in real time, improving the productivity and efficiency of the entire organization.
Removes the need for and costs associated with immediate migration
The cost of migration isn’t restricted to only the licensing costs of a new content platform and the migration project. However, businesses can lower the need to migrate everything immediately through content federation. Data can be pulled from legacy content sources, which allows businesses to slow down the migration process and not be forced into retiring their previous content management system before they’re truly ready.
For instance, when Norwegian multinational telecommunications company Telenor needed to upgrade its tech stack to scale its video streaming service they turned to Hygraph. The ability to pull metadata from multiple sources, centralize it for easier editing, and achieve flexible content modeling along with an intuitive interface was unmatched. It also allows them to get on the road to composability.
Allows for a staggered approach to composability
Content federation enables enterprises to stagger their composable business endeavors. They can start with a federated content platform like Hygraph that allows them to integrate other solutions much more quickly than a typical headless CMS.
Hygraph eliminates the necessity for another experience composition solution to manage the orchestration layer required for composability and future-proofs businesses as new requirements emerge. Companies can integrate new solutions when they’re financially and strategically ready rather than attempting to migrate to an entirely new technology stack in just a few months.
Reduces TCO and improves ROI of technology stack
A federated content platform can reduce the total cost of ownership and improve the return on investment when building a technology stack. Fewer tools are required to maximize the benefits of composability, less maintenance and upgrades are necessary, and less tool fragmentation occurs. Content federation can also speed up the time to market as engineering and content teams increase their efficiency, allowing them to launch campaigns faster, generate more revenue, and improve ROI.
Streamlines 3rd party API access
Data can move seamlessly across various sources through content federation, including third-party APIs such as public databases. Rather than relying on manual data migration or webhooks to fetch information, content federation provides a more flexible and precise flow of data. Hygraph, for instance, can federate content from multiple APIs, regardless of whether they are GraphQL or RESTful, and consolidate them into a single endpoint via “GraphQLify.”
Content federation enables a staggered approach to composability, reducing costs and improving ROI. It streamlines third-party API access and accelerates time to market. With content federation and platforms like Hygraph, businesses can successfully embrace composability and unlock their full potential for future success. Request a demo and see how Hygraph can help you transform your digital projects.